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Politics — Ron Paul

  • Colin Delany: Ron Paul: Live by the Internet, Die by the Internet

    So Ron Paul made the bigtime today: a feature in the New York Times. What about? Those little newsletters that came out in his name a couple of decades back. You know, the ones that (among other things) predicted an upcoming race war and “contain[ed] bigotry against black, Jews, and gays and an obsession with conspiracies.”

    Perhaps the only surprise is that it took this long for the big guys to notice: plenty of people have known about the more controversial parts of the Paul oeuvre forever (Dave Weigel notes that he wrote about the newsletters four years ago). But the interesting part from an online politics point of view is that this is a classic example of the Internet’s double-edged nature.


  • Paul builds campaign on doomsday scenarios | Reuters

    The man who might win the Republican Party’s first presidential nominating contest fears that the United Nations may take control of the U.S. money supply.

    Campaigning for the January 3 Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul warns of eroding civil liberties, a Soviet Union-style economic collapse and violence in the streets.

    The Texas congressman, author of “End the Fed,” also wants to eliminate the central banking system that underpins the world’s largest economy…

    But Paul’s dark-horse presidential bid ultimately could founder, analysts and others say, because of increasing questions about how his unorthodox vision of government would work in the real world.

  • Ron Paul: Codger, crank or more? –

    Ron Paul is something more (or less) than a racist crank. As aptly observed in the Atlantic last week:

    “As crazy as it sounds, Ron Paul’s newsletter writers may not have been sincerely racist at all. They actually thought appearing to be racist was a good political strategy in the 1990s. After that strategy yielded almost nothing — it was abandoned by Paul’s admirers…”

    Don’t get the idea, however, that racism-as-strategy was some brief, futile dead-end for Paul. Paul exploited bigotry throughout his career, before as well as after the newsletter years. As Dave Weigel and Julian Sanchez reported in the libertarian magazine Reason, “Cato Institute President Ed Crane told Reason he recalls a conversation from some time in the late 1980s in which Paul claimed that his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for The Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto until it folded in 2001.”

    Crane is the president of the premier institution in the libertarian world. If his recollection is correct, Paul was appealing to consumers of Holocaust denial for political purposes half a decade before the newsletters commenced.

    Nor is it wholly accurate to describe Paul’s strategy of appealing to the extremes as “abandoned.”


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